I say I believe in celebrating each other. And life. Not just big things in life, either. We make a big deal of birthdays, holidays (even the made up ones), and sometimes just regular days. Life is mundane; it can be draining. We all need little things to look forward to, to break us out of the monotony, to remind us that we count and that just being here is miraculous. At our house, that looks like a bottle of champagne on a random weeknight, special tablecloths for just about any occasion, and the feeling that a spontaneous dance party is always lurking around any corner. Even if there are dishes in the sink. So in that spirit, I want to have it on record that I have taken a moment to recognize the changes that have come in this last year, and that I really am thankful for them.
1. We got out of our house. This one, as I've mentioned here many times, was terribly bittersweet for us. Mirabella still breaks down occasionally over missing that house. But it was absolutely necessary for us to move forward in many ways. We took a risk. We couldn't see a way out. We cried. We prayed. We enlisted the help of the best Realtor we know. And God provided a way out and a place to land, and it's all been something we couldn't have predicted.
2. We simplified our stuff. In part because I just. couldn't. takeitanymore, and in part because of the move, we finally faced our stuff. We took the time to consider what we want to hold on to and how we want to spend our limited time and space. Unfortunately, as it turns out, this is not a one time event. We are constantly evaluating what to keep, trash, and give away-- and the larger issue of what to consume in the first place. But we have made major progress, and our backlog of stuff (was a basement, is now an attic) is considerably pared down. The mere thought of it is no longer overwhelming. And for us, that's something.
3. We have paid down a massive amount of debt. When we started out, we didn't have the foresight to set our life up the way we might have wanted it in the future. It was our biggest mistake. We spent years angry at each other and ourselves about it. We don't do that anymore. We just didn't know any better. So now, we are, quite literally, paying for past mistakes. We paid off about $25,000 in debt in the last year alone, and are continually on our way to freedom from debt. We are not done. But we are working toward a near-term, tangible goal that, for a long time, has felt impossible. Daniel reminds me, at our State of the Union meetings (that feature wine and frequently make me want to crawl under the table and hide from his spreadsheets), that this is all a very good thing.
4. We live a healthier and more organized life than we did a year ago. I am sometimes overwhelmed by all the changes left to make. To say there is no chaos would be silly. But the bottom line is, it's better now than it was.
5. I realized my goal of being a (very small) Small Business Owner. This one is so new it's actually still news. For a long time I have considered what I really want to do. What would it be? How would I accomplish it while also being the mother I want to be? I've thought through many iterations of what that might look like, and last year, I settled on the idea of starting my own creative services business. It would start small and slowly, with just me writing and editing, but would eventually expand to include others and their respective talents (namely, graphic and web design). Last week, I marched out of the Small Business Administration with my very own newborn business. I had already started working with my first client two months prior. Yesterday we got our first piece of mail. I've decided not to do what I usually do, which is act bigger than whatever moment I'm in, and just fess up-- I think this is really exciting and I don't care who knows.
I am under no illusion that we have "arrived" anywhere. We are still in constant movement, strangely, even when we're stalled. But it would be pretty obnoxious of me not to notice all the good that's already been heaped on us just because we've got farther to go.
The important thing is this: to be ready at any moment to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.
--Charles Du Bos